The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THE PARISH is situated on the northern side of the island, the cliffs being the northern boundary of it. The village, which consists only of two houses, stands nearly in the centre of it, on high ground, having the church adjoining to it, near which the lands are mostly arable. In the south-west part of it, next to Eastchurch, there is a great deal of broom and furze, and below that, in the vale, much good pasture. On the south-east part, next to Leysdown, there is a deep watry vale, of near a mile in width, a part of which is salt-marsh, being overflowed at high water; across which is the high road from Warden to Leysdown.
THE PARAMOUNT MANOR of Milton claims over this parish, subordinate to which is the MANOR OF WARDEN, which, in the reign of king Edward I. was in the possession of the family of Savage, of Bobbing, in this neighbourhood, one of which, John le Sauvage, obtained a charter of free-warren for his lands here, among others, in the 23d year of that reign.
In the 49th year of Edward III. Sir Richard atte Lese was in the possession of it, and by his will anno 18 Richard II. devised it to Dionisia his wife, and after her decease to Lucy Norton his niece, then the wife of John Norton, who was afterwards, in his wife's right, of Lees-court, in Sheldwich.
Their son William Norton, esq. of Sheldwich, left two sons, Reginald, from whom the Nortons, of Northwood were descended, and Richard, who inherited this manor by his father's will, in 1468, (fn. 1) and was ancestor to those of Fordwich, in whose descendants it continued down to Valentine Norton, gent. of Fordwich, who in the reign of king Charles I. alieenated it to Edmund Tooke, of Dartford, the fourth son of George Tooke, esq. of Bere-court, near Dover; how long it continued in his descendants, I cannot learn, but that after some intermediate owners, it was sold to Sir Thomas Stevens, high sheriff of Surry in 1727, in which year he was knighted. He afterwards resided at Eltham, in this county, where he died in 1738, leaving one son Thomas, and a daughter Sarah, married that year to James West, esq. of Lincoln's-inn.
Thomas Stevens, esq. succeeded his father in this manor, among the left of his estates, and died s. p. in 1759, on which it devolved to his sister and heirat-law, whose husband, James West, esq. in her right, became possessed of it. He was descended from a younger son of Thomas, lord De la War, who in the reign of Henry VIII. was a man of great note, and a knight of the garter, and was of Alscot, in Warwickshire, esq. He was recorder of St. Alban's, secretary to the treasury, and fellow of the royal and antiquarian societies, and bore for his arms those of the lord Delaware, his ancestor, Argent, a fess dancette, sable, (fn. 2) He afterwards passed this manor away by sale to John Sawbridge, esq. of Ollantigh, in this county, afterwards an alderman and lord-mayor of London, who died possessed of it in 1795, and his son Samuel-Elias Sawbridge, esq. now of Ollantigh, is the present owner of it. There is not any court held for this manor.
Stephen Oxborne, by will in 1581, gave a sum of money to the parishes of Eastchurch and Leysdown, with which a house and land was purchased, as has been already more particularly mentioned before under the former of those parishes, 8s. out of the yearly produce of which, by the directions of the will, is paid to the use of the poor of this parish.
The church, which consists of one isle and a chancel, with a small turret at the west end, is a poor mean plaistered building. It is dedicated to St. James, and was for may years in a dilapidated state, insomuch that there had not been any divine service performed in it, except on the induction of a rector, for a long time, the parishioners, usually reforming to the adjoining church of Leysdown for that purpose; but it has been, some years since, put into some kind of repair, and made but hardly sit for divine service; though the whole building seems to decayed by length of time, that it cannot stand many years.
This church was part of the antient possessions of the crown, and continued so till king Henry III. by his charter, in his 19th year, granted it to the hospital of St. Mary, commonly called the Maison Dieu, in Dover, and the brethern there, for ever, in free, pure and perpetual alms, which gift was confirmed by Henry VI. in his 2d year, by his charter of inspeximus; before which this hospital was possessed of a manor and lands in this parish, by the benefaction of Simon de Wardune, who had given to it his whole messuage and park adjoining to it, and one hundred acres of land in the fields of Wardune, with the homage, suits and services, due to him from several persons, as mentioned in his deed of it, which gift was confirmed by king Henry III. in his 12th year, and afterwards by Henry VI. in his 2d year, when he confirmed likewise this church to it, by his charter of inspeximus. (fn. 3)
This church remained with the hospital till the dissolution of it in the reign of Henry VIII. when it was surrendered, with all its possessions, into the king's hands. After which this church was granted to Sir Thomas Cheney, knight of the garter, &c. whose son Henry, lord Cheney in the reign of queen Elizabeth, exchanged it with the crown for other lands, and the queen soon afterwards granted it to Sir Thomas Hoby, of Bisham, whose son Sir Edward Hoby gave it by his will to his son Peregrine Hoby, esq. who was possessed of it in the latter end of the reign of Charles I.
In the reign of king William III. it was in the possession of Godfrey Meynel, esq. and afterwards of Francis Hosier, esq. vice-admiral of the white, who died in 1727, on which it came to his widow, Mrs. Diana Hosier, and afterwards to their daughter Frances. Diana Hosier, who married Richard Hart, and he died possessed of the patronage of this rectory in 1761, leaving three daughters, Mary, Elizabeth, and Diana Hosier Hart, his coheirs, who are now entitled to it.
The church of Warden is a discharged living in the king's books, of the clear yearly certified value of forty-five pounds, the yearly tenths of it being 9s. 6¼d. which were formerly paid to the crown receiver.
Church of Warden.
|Or by whom presented.|
|James Barnard, June 20, 1595. obt. 1617.|
|Peregrine Hoby, gent.||Osmund Clutting, A.B. Oct. 31, 1617.|
|John edes, May 19, 1640.|
|The King, by lapse||John Tudor, clerk, March 16, 1674. obt. 1689. (fn. 4)|
|Godfrey Meynel, esq||Robert Eaton, clerk, July 2, 1689, obt. 1702. (fn. 4)|
|The Archbishop||John Cumberland, A.B. Jan. 1, 1703, obt. January 17, 1731. (fn. 4)|
|Joseph Adshead and John Sackfield||William Owens, July 31, 1731, obt. June 2, 1732. (fn. 4)|
|John Burdus, gent.||John Fetherston, July 18, 1732, resigned 1734. (fn. 5)|
|Diana, widow of Fr. Hoster, esq.||John Woodross, A.M. Sept. 26, 1734, resigned 1735.|
|Gilbert Allenson, A.B. Nov. 26, 1735.|
|The King, by lapse.||John Kirby, June 21, 1776.|
|John Rice, 1783, the present rector.|